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Submarine Case Study

Rob Miller | Friday May 04, 2012

Categories: A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC A2, WJEC A2 Media Studies, Film, British Film, Comedy, Drama, Film Analysis, Hot Entries

Institutional Factors | Distribution

Submarine was written and directed by Richard Ayoade and released at UK cinemas in March 2011 after significant critical success at festivals including the London Film Festival (LFF) but particularly the Toronto Film Festival. Toronto success secured the film a distribution contract with the Weinstein Company (formerly Disney owned Miramax) – Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s company in essence can be described as a ‘Mini Major’ film distributor, large enough to cope with the distribution of academy award winning The Artist (2012) and The Iron Lady (2012) but not competition for the oligopoly of Hollywood distributors including 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios and Paramount. The Weinstein Company and previously as Miramax have also specialised in distributing challenging films by independent film makers and directors over the years like Pulp Fiction (1994) and Kill Bill (2003-04) and with Submarine The Weinstein Company would consider this new British film to move carefully into that equation.

Although The Weinstein Company distributed Submarine this was only in the US with Optimum Pictures as the independent UK distributor – Optimum themselves are associated with award winning success having been responsible for distributing This is England (see FilmEdu case study) which was a surprise commercial success with its release spawning two television sequels and securing strong DVD sales. Optimum also distributed Four Lions which received mixed reviews potentially as a result of its controversial political content but sustained their losses through being owned by larger production company and television channel Canal + who have been involved in features such as Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). Like This is England, Submarine had a limited release and was only distributed to 60 screens in the UK and only 28 in the US confirming the reluctance of The Weinstein Company to invest...

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